From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) has demanded full disclosure on the cost of importation of petroleum products into the country.
The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, said while it was not against fuel subsidy for Nigerians, it was opposed to using it as an avenue to enrich leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The opposition party said the APC-led administration had increased fuel subsidy to N1.4 trillion in 2021 and was now seeking for additional N2.557 trillion to have a cumulative subsidy bill of N3 trillion in 2022.
“The PDP already has information of how corrupt APC leaders pushed for the additional N2.557 trillion to the N443 billion already approved for fuel subsidy in the 2022 budget just to create a surplus as slush fund ostensibly for APC leaders to share as well as deploy to rig the 2023 elections.
“The APC government cannot justify the proposed increase in fuel subsidy in the face of incontrovertible evidence of slowing economy and consequential decrease in consumption of petroleum products in Nigeria due largely to the rudderless, irresponsible and insensitive economic policies of the APC as well as the adverse effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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“Nigerians have already noted that the proposed increase is consistent with APC’s typical padding of fuel subsidy ahead of every election cycle. Is it not revealing that while fuel subsidy was N24 billion in 2016 and rose to N144.53 billion in 2017, it spiked to N878 billion in 2018 ahead of the 2019 elections; remained at N551.22 billion in the election year of 2019, only to drop to N102 billion in 2020, after the elections.
“It is clear that the APC increased fuel subsidy to N1.4 trillion in 2021 and now barefacedly seeks additional N2.557 trillion to have a cumulative subsidy bill of N3 trillion in 2022 to prosecute the 2023 elections having realised that it has a tough battle with Nigerians because of its monumental failures.
“It is even more disturbing that the proposed increase is to be funded through external borrowings, which will further impoverish Nigerians, mortgage the future of our nation and burden future generation of Nigerians just to finance the insatiable greed of APC leaders…
“Our Party challenges the APC to present the details of importation costs to Nigerians as no genuine pricing template can support such criminal increase in fuel subsidy beyond the appropriate pricing which experts posit cannot be above N500 billion,” the PDP said.